Titleist, recognizing that as some longtime loyalists age they will start to look for more help from their irons, introduces the T400 line, which is its first super game-improvement irons. The line may also bring new followers to the brand
Titleist has for years staked its claim on its share of the golf equipment business on the traditionalists, the better players or those who aspire to be who want clubs that look like what the pros play.
But as those longtime loyalists age, particularly the mid-handicappers, they will start to look for more help from their irons. So, Titleist is introducing its first super game-improvement irons in the T400.
“Our heart and soul has been in designing the world’s best tour iron but not every dedicated golfer needs this,” said Corey Gerrard, Titleist product manager for the T400. “Some dedicated golfers need help in launching the ball up and they need help with speed, as well. So, having this product is for people who need more distance with maximum forgiveness.
“We think that something like this will potentially bring new players to Titleist. But we also have a lot of dedicated golfers who have lost some distance or have lost the ability to launch the ball high, this could really help them.”
The T400 is built for speed, distance and towering ball flight in an easier to hit design. It’s a hollow construction with a wide body and a thin, forged clubface. The iron’s split sole was inspired by Titleist’s U510 utility iron, which a lot of players used as a driving iron. The sole design helps with smooth turf interaction, ensuring the best possible strike.
“We wanted (the T400) player to experience the same turf interaction that makes T100, T200 and T300 great irons,” Gerrard said. “We didn’t want this player looking down at a larger club and feeling contact with the turf that’s less than smooth.”
In the 5-7 irons, designers put as much as 100 grams of tungsten in the heel and toe, which lowers the center of gravity, enabling a higher launch in the long end of the set that needs it most. Those irons also have a thin, forged face, which creates more ball speed.
But be aware that the T400 is hollow and sound can be an issue in clubs that are built this way. Gerrard says that in the company’s testing, results trump aesthetics.
“The team has worked really hard to get the sound just right,” Gerrard said. “It’s a hollow golf club, so it sounds different if you’re used to playing something fully forged or a solid club. They don’t hear the sound because they’re so excited to see what the ball is doing.”
Part of the T400’s increased distance lies in the loft of these irons. We live in a modern age where jacked up lofts are a way of life in iron sets, particularly the so-called players distance irons and especially in super game-improvement irons. The pitching wedge in the T400 has an astounding 38 degrees of loft. By contrast, the pitching wedge in the T100 — which is the Tour iron — is 46 degrees and in the T300 — the players distance iron — the wedge is 43 degrees.
“We lofted them this way because all the technology helps us launch it super high,” Gerrard said. “If we didn’t have these stronger lofts, the ball would go through a window that’s much too high.
“Getting a little stronger helps us with ball speed, as well. This player usually has a couple of hybrids in his bag and the industry has scared some people away from long irons.”
As a result, the stock set of the T400 will be 6-iron through gap wedge, which is 43 degrees.
The stock shafts for the T400 will be the True Temper AMT Red in steel and the Mitsubishi Fubuki MV IR in graphite. In addition, Titleist offers a number of other shafts, many at no upcharge. The T400 will be available at retail on March 27.
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